Terreyro Coreográfico, selected by Bernardo Mosqueira

2018 Future Greats – one of ten spotlighted artists who will be inspiring, transforming or provoking you over the coming year

By Bernardo Mosqueira

Choreography on the land surrounding Teatro Oficina, São Paulo. Photo: Camila Picolo A screening of work by Harun Farocki at the temporary Cine-MA-Ágora, held during the 2015 Baixo Libertas happening. Courtesy Goethe-Institut Meeting held during the 2015 Baixo Libertas happening. Photo: Luanda Vanucchi

Terreyro Coreográfico is an ever-revolving group of São Paulo-based artists who have been collaborating since 2014. They investigate public space through architecture, choreography and public programming. Their aim is to create public space that is not defined relative to ‘private space’, developing temporary learning communities that mix ecologies of marginal knowledge: people, references and practices co-present in Brazi,l including those related to the Afro-Brazilian religious matrix, native Brazilian social wisdom, different oriental philosophies and spiritualities, classical Greek theatre, the anthropophagy of Brazilian Modernism, the digital culture, contemporary dance, permaculture principles, etc.

In 2015 the group occupied an empty space under an overpass in the Bixiga district of São Paulo. It spent several months engaging with and listening to the flows of humanity and capital that passed by: from the needs of homeless people to the desires of the real-estate market, from the memory and official history of the site to the orixá, ghosts, animal spirits and old indigenous forces that haunt and impregnate the surrounding architecture. The work developed there – meetings and social activities, held together under the title Canteyro de Obras – was a constant process of learning from the place, remodelling the environment, dealing with visible and invisible forces, inviting other groups to collaborate, developing multiartistic practices and working on collective ways of learning.

Terreyro Coreográfico creates its own rituals and vocabulary in which mythology, philosophy and the material exist in parity

This experimental, insurgent and celebrative character was inherited directly from the nearby Teat(r)o Oficina Uzyna Uzona. As with the seminal tropicalist theatre company, TC strives to create its own rituals and vocabulary in which mythology, philosophy and the material exist in parity.

Taking as its motto the phrase ‘To the public what is of the public’, the TC is currently fighting for the creation of a new park, in an area of 11,000sqm attached to the Teatro Oficina, on which two towers, each more than 100 metres tall, are on the verge of being erected. In a time that is witnessing violent reinforcement of identity and the evident failure of the traditional strategies of political struggle, the TC shows its relevance by cultivating radical co-presence, dealing with the material and magical contradictions and believing in the collective transformation of spaces in the direction of a fairer and more pleasant togetherness.

Bernardo Mosqueira is an independent curator based in Rio de Janeiro where, in 2017, he cofounded the off-space Solar dos Abacaxis. 

Terreyro Coreográfico formed in 2014 and is currently based in the neighbourhood of Bixiga, central São Paulo. Most of the collective’s works take place beneath the Viaduto Libertas overpass, inhabiting and cultivating the public space with choreography, dance, discussions, seminars, film samples, reading groups, plantings, etc. Terreyro Coreográfico’s most recent collaborations include performances at the Goethe-Institut (2017), Praça das Artes (2016), Vila Itororó (2015), Casa do Povo (2015) and SubPrefeitura da Sé (2015), all São Paulo

From the January & February 2018 issue of ArtReview, in association with K11 Art Foundation